Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Heruka (Nyingma)

ཧེ་རུ་ཀ། རྙིང་མ་པ། 嘿噜嘎 (寧瑪巴)
(item no. 54402)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Field Museum of Natural History
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Heruka (Tibetan: drag tung. English: Blood-drinker): from the Lama Gongdu Cycle of Revealed Treasure (Tibetan: ter ma) teachings of the Nyingma tradition.

Sanskrit: Heruka Tibetan: Drag tung

Wrathful in appearance, red in colour, with three faces and six hands he embraces the consort with the first pair. The outstretched right hands hold a vase and a sword. The two left hold a trident and a skullcup. The red two-armed consort holds a skullcup and a 'damara' drum. Standing on two prone forms, a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus seat.

Eight pairs of seated semi-wrathful figures surround the central figure. At the top center is Amitabha Buddha. and at the bottom is a wrathful deity.

Sanggye Lingpa (1340-1396) discovered the 'Middling Collection of Precepts, the Gathering of the Guru's Intention' (Tibetan: ka du bar wa la ma gong pa du pa) in the great cave of Puri Rinchen Barwa in the year 1364.

Jeff Watt 11-2000 [updated 11-2010]

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Lama Gongdu Terma Cycle (Main Page)
Collection of the Field Museum of Natural History (Painting)